The insulated helmet is made of nanocellulose, and is proof of the many possibilities to replace high-maintenance and oil-based materials such as plastic.
With support from the Swedish Forest Industries Federation (Skogsindustrierna), the research and development company Cellutech has designed a bicycle helmet made from renewable forest materials. The helmet is a product resulting from a vision of a “new Sweden” where the forestry industry is the driving force behind a growing, global bioeconomy sector.
“This is a fantastic step towards materializing ideas, with new possibilities from forestry,” said Jan Lagerström, the director of research at Skogsindustrierna.
The helmet is made of an outer layer of wood carvings, and the helmet straps are made of endurable paper. The padded inside consists of a foam material which resembles Styrofoam, but which is in fact environmentally-friendly nanucellulose.
“The helmet is a wonderful way of showing how cellulose can be used in new and unexpected ways,” said Åsa Ek, chief of development at Cellutech.
“Nanocellulose has a great potential for innovative products and applications which have not been available on the market. And it's also entirely biodegradable. If you left the helmet in the woods, it would gradually become nutrients for new tree again.”
Jan Lagerström agreed.
“This is a great example of an innovation which can enter the market,” he said. “And it also is tied to our vision for the strategic innovation programme BioInnovation, which is intended to develop strong, competitive, innovative materials from Swedish raw resources.”